We live in a country where open discussions about sex and sexual health is still largely considered a taboo. It is also the very same country which happens to be the second most populous in the world and the one with the third largest number of people infected with HIV. With this as the case, we ought to realize that it is due to the severe lack of guidance and sheer neglect woven into the very basic framework of our society. This is exactly the issue Team 3D wishes to address and amend.
Team 3D (Dreams, Desires and Destination), the brainchild of Dr. Deeksha Pandey (Associate Professor, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KMC, Manipal) is a nationally registered Non-Profit Organization. It consists of herself and a bunch of enthusiastic youths who have come together with a motive to help spread awareness about reproductive health and safe sexual practices. They do so by actively conducting interactive workshops, street plays, flash mobs and documentaries.
Taking another step towards their goal, the evening of 27th February 2017 saw the launch of Team 3D’s very own website – team3d.org. The launch event aptly named as Parichay, was presided over by Dr. H. Vinod Bhat (Vice Chancellor, Manipal University) as the chief guest, Dr. Poornima Baliga (Dean, KMC Manipal), Dr. Gopalakrishna Prabhu (Director, MIT), Dr. Ullas Kamath (Dean, MMMC), and various other faculty members from the MU colleges.
The event began with a Welcome Address by the Director, School of Management, Manipal, Dr. Prof. Raveendranath Nayak who is also the Trustee and Treasurer of Team 3D. Following which, Dr. Suma Nair (Director, Student Affairs, MU) spoke about the issue of teenage pregnancies occurring within the campus, and the hesitation on students’ side to seek help from our in-campus hospital, on account of the fear of being judged and exposed. She went on to explain about how the collaboration between Team 3D and the Department of Student Affairs, was just the measure needed to tackle that issue.
The woman of the moment, Dr. Deeksha then gave a short speech recounting her experiences which had led to the inception of the idea of Team 3D. With a smile, she recalled the challenges she faced during her journey with Team 3D, one of them being a ridiculous rumour accusing her of “promoting sex” among students. The launch of the website by the chief guest was certainly a huge moment of pride for Team 3D and was well worth it for all the hard work and efforts they put in and the hurdles they overcame, ranging from silly accusations to the oh-so-famous projector issues during the event.
An interesting segment followed next called “Let’s talk” by Dr. Prof. Nandini Lakshmikantha (Director, SOC Manipal and Trustee, 3D), where the faculty members and students shared their own stories about people around them which pointed to their lack of sexual health awareness. Many of those stories gave us a good laugh on how ignorant and naïve people could be, when it came to topics related to sex. At the same time, they also reminded us the gravity of that very ignorance in our society and the importance of Team 3D’s initiative.